Oh boy. Just saying that makes me feel like I’m back in high school. As a young teen, I was fond of citing “no peer pressure” as one of my favorite reasons for being a homeschooler. It was only in my later teens that I realized that I did indeed feel peer pressure–for not being ‘girly’ enough, for wanting to write ‘those books’, for wanting a ‘career’ in the first place.
This annoyed me, as I’ve always tried to give people grace for being different. Why can’t they do the same to me?
Nowadays, I sometimes feel peer pressure in the realm of writing as well. At times, I can freeze up, thinking that I’m a total hack next to other writers I know. Sometimes I feel like I’m not ‘edgy’ enough, or ‘Christian’ enough, or…or…or.
Then I remember something I also learned in my late teens–sometimes peer pressure is real. But much of the time, it’s me, playing a guessing game with myself. Misinterpreting what someone says as judgment. Not being grounded and happy enough with who I am as a person–as a writer–that I can confidently stand my ground and say, “This is who I am–take it or leave it.”
This is when I have to step back, take a breath, and regain confidence in myself. Remind myself who I am, who God has shaped me to be, and why I’ve chosen to write what I do. Remind myself that I do not necessarily need the approval of my peers.
Then I can move forward again.
Do you ever have problems with peer pressure? How do you take care of it?